State v. Reliant Energy, Inc.Annotate this Case
This case arose out of the recent energy crisis. Appellants alleged that Respondents, in violation of Nevada antitrust laws, conspired with the now-defunct Enron Corporation to drive up the price of natural gas in the Southern Nevada and Southeastern California markets. Appellants asserted (1) Respondents engaged in rapid bursts of purchasing natural gas followed by rapid bursts of selling the same gas, which resulted in considerable profits for Respondents and significantly higher prices for natural gas consumers; and (2) Respondents' plan for manipulating the markets worked because of a secret agreement with Enron that left Respondents with greater profits from the sale of gas as well as ensured that Respondents would always have a sufficient supply of natural gas. The district court ultimately dismissed the case, holding that the claims were barred by principles of federal preemption. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellants' claims were barred by federal field preemption.